At 16, I obviously knew everything.
The lies that I told were usually to intentionally create the kind of Beverly-Hills-90210-Dawson’s-Creek-esque drama that I kept vigil over each school night instead of studying for world history. I became this theatrically foolish teenager as my relationship with my very first long-term boyfriend, Brad, progressed.
Thankfully this phase only lasted about a year, but there were plenty of characters whom I involved in my web during that time. Good people. Innocent people. When I think of my behavior during that time in my life, I get sick to my stomach.
When I tried to lie my way out of it, a web of deceit began to grow. Before I knew it this web had entangled me, got twisted in my hair, and caught in my mouth.
It tasted like tinfoil, and the flavor was that of treachery. When I allow the synapse of my brain to meander through these recollections from my teenage years, I taste the cold aluminum and feel as though I’m being zapped in a shamefully purgatory-like episode.
Unfortunately, the web ensnared others as well, Brad of course being a large fraction.
Normalcy came with time, with realization of my own worth, with amazing friends, with supportive family.
I can only speak from my perspective, because I never asked, but it seemed that everyone was okay. Quite a bit more okay than me, but I’ll never know for sure. Because I never asked.
In his yearbook just before graduation, I quoted Janice Joplin:
“I’d trade all of my tomorrows/ For one single yesterday…”
When Brad read it, he looked at me quizzically, like a sudden deformity had developed on my head. “Why? That doesn’t make any sense.” Then he closed the book and walked away.
His reaction was well deserved.